USA: The Last Protestant President?

What Others Are Saying

“The symphony of faith we see in American politics today is the ultimate expression of our national motto e pluribus unum: out of many, one.”

“The 2012 presidential election is surprising in one important respect.

Protestants of various sects dominated national leadership until John F. Kennedy broke the barrier in 1960. Yet today there is only one Protestant in the highest offices of American politics: Barack Hussein Obama.

For the first time ever there are no Protestant justices on the Supreme Court. The Court consists of six Roman Catholics and three Jews. The head of the Judiciary, Chief Justice John Roberts, is Roman Catholic. The leaders of the Legislature are Speaker of the House John Boehner, a Roman Catholic, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Mormon. The second member of the Executive is Vice President Joe Biden, a Roman Catholic.

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is a well-known leader in the Mormon Church, and his running mate Paul Ryan is Roman Catholic. The Republican contenders for the presidential nomination were similarly diverse. In addition to Mitt Romney, the field included another Mormon, Jon Huntsman. The two top challengers for the nomination were Roman Catholics—Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich. One would have to look to the second tier of contenders to find the Protestant candidates Ron Paul, Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Rick Perry, and Tim Pawlenty.

The composition of our political leadership is a sure sign that religious diversity is an accepted fact of public life…”

– Joel H. Rosenthal, Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs.

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